National Night Out Kickoff 2018

Brad Vorpahl, a vice commander for Victoria’s American Legion Post 166, offers candy to Trayton Lewis, during the 2018 National Night Out Kickoff Party. “This is all about being a part of the community and helping kids, teaching them safety,” said Vorpahl. “That’s what the American Legion is about.”

The Victoria Police Department’s annual National Night Out is a month away, and Victoria police are already hard at work preparing.

The National Night Out program was introduced in August 1984 as an annual campaign to promote partnerships between neighborhoods and police. The event is celebrated on the first Tuesday of October in Texas, when neighborhoods host block parties, festivals, parades, cookouts and other community events in partnership with 458 police departments.

In previous years, almost 50 block parties have been organized by the community for the night out, though those numbers have dwindled since Hurricane Harvey hit, said Officer John Turner, of the Victoria Police Department’s Crime Prevention Unit.

In an effort to draw community members and officers together, the department is asking people who have previously held block parties, as well as new volunteers, to register for the event.

“We all live in the same community, and I would be willing to bet that most of us want the exact same thing for the city in which we live,” Turner said. “We want to live, work and raise our kids in a safe environment. In order for that to happen, we all need to work together for that goal.”

The National Night Out is all about building community, he said.

Organizations and community-oriented businesses are also invited to register booths for a kickoff public safety fair and party, which will be Sept. 21 at the Victoria Community Center.

“The more, the merrier,” Turner said. “We just want to get everybody involved.”

Kali Venable is a public safety reporter for the Victoria Advocate. She can be reached at 361-580-6558 or at kvenable@vicad.com.

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Public Safety Reporter

"I am a Houston native and 5th generation Texan, with a degree in journalism and minor in creative writing from the University of Texas at Austin. I care deeply about public interests and the community I serve.”

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